All around me there have been references to the wind. One person signed her email to me with “Listen to the Wind,” another called me a whirlwind that entered his life, and still a third told me that I needed to find my center so that I could stand in the eye of the storm of change rather than being thrown around by it. All the way out to Colorado, I was buffeted by the winds of change. Poor Ruby (my car) fought the headwinds and the quick sideswipes the whole way. But then I arrived.
I arrived and I had the lovely experience of unpacking my bags. Settling into a space that was exclusively mine for the next week. I’ve even told the hotel that I don’t want cleaning service because I want to maintain the singleness of the energy here. I put food away in MY kitchen. I put clothes in MY dresser. I put my toiletries out on MY sink. I lay down on MY bed. And I walked around naked in MY space. It’s been lovely. After nearly a year of living in other people’s homes and another four of living with roommates, having my own space has been very freeing. And very centering.
I’m also taking this time when I am not traveling to look inside, to ask myself some hard questions, write some poetry and generally get back in touch with myself. It has been very enlightening.
I have found that I am, at my core, based in Love. It has always been there, just under the surface. Sometimes it was covered over in pain and frustration and fear, but it was there. The part I never managed to put together before was the balance of the direction of that love. I have always been good at directing it out to others, but I have steadfastly avoided turning it inward. I would tell myself that I didn’t have the understanding of it, I would allow myself to be overwhelmed by the concept so that I could drop it. I would insist that I already did love myself despite all obvious facts to the contrary.
The result of this was that I got to avoid being who I am meant to be. I got to avoid being the powerful, strong, capable, warm, soft, loving person that I am. I avoided it because it scared me. It scared me for a while because I was afraid of what I would do with that power. Then, after a few tests from the universe showing me that I was in fact trustworthy, that fear slipped away. Most recently, the fear has been about what others will expect of me. Fears about needy people surrounding me and sucking me dry. This is where my boundaries came into question. I had long conversations with the folks in Cincinnati on just this subject. I understood that I needed to do the work, but I was unsure about how to place boundaries in areas where I wasn’t even aware that they were being violated. (The wonders of being an empath is that we often miss the distinction between what is ours and what is someone else’s.) After much deliberation, the simplest of answers was arrived at. So simple that I had failed to see it altogether. A shield against other people’s expectations.
Such a simple and elegant solution and yet so far-reaching. Add to this the fact that I have recently been involved in several relationships where boundaries have been continually discussed and where my limits have been respected, and it solidifies the cause even more. In the past, I had my boundaries blown through so many times that it seemed pointless to try to enforce them. Now that I have turned inward by going on walkabout, I have found a strength in my center that has given me the strength to support those boundaries. It’s the chicken and the egg theory of self development. Did the love of self come first and manifest as setting of boundaries or was it the boundaries that allowed the love of self to flourish? Does it matter?
I’m feeling really good about things – about me. I am clear that I have gifts to offer the world and the people around me. I am clear that even without those gifts, my presence is gift enough to justify having friends and love in my life. I am clear that I have a mission to fulfill here on this planet and, while I haven’t yet found that mission, I have found its core and that is Love.
So the next part of my journey is to determine what form that love will take. To figure out what direction I will go on the next part of my journey in life. One path is clear, and that is the one that includes Daniel. I have found something special there that I intend to pursue for as long as I can. Another path is clear as well, and that is my books. I will finish them so that I can share the information in them with the people who cross my path. It seems it has been relevant for someone in almost every place I have stopped; therefore, it is a good use of my time to complete them even if I don’t get them published. But I will pursue publishing them as well. After that, I am still working on it. I am looking at the possibilities that I am aware of and asking the universe to send me others. I have a multitude of skills and abilities that I have to offer; all I need to do is find the right fit.
So that’s where things stand today, and they feel pretty sturdy here. I’m feeling very centered and focused. I’m feeling warm and comfortable even as I sit in the soup of not knowing. I’m feeling my heart as the energy flows through it, and that tingling, painful, uncomfortable feeling as it comes back to life after being asleep for so long is subsiding. I can feel the energy radiating out from my heart center. I don’t know where it’s going, but I know that it will return with something wonderful.
(Update 2013 -It’s really interesting to read this. I didn’t realize that I had become aware of the process of learning to love myself while I was on walkabout. I actually worked really hard on “getting” what that meant for the next 8 years – only really having it land after many more workshops and awakenings. I also discovered that I had to learn to be a good parent to myself in the same way I had been a good parent to my mother.
On a different note, finding that my center is Love seems appropriate at this venue. It has since deepened to include Joy. Over the years, I have found that much of my energy resides in this joyful space and have been told by more than one person that my essence is Joy. It would seem odd to an outsider to think that this is true. With as often as I going running into the burning building of my own pain, you would think that joy was not my essence, but this would be where the misunderstanding of joy often happens. Joy can only be found where grief and pain have been embraced. Joy is the experience of pleasure balanced with the experience of pain. It comes from a place of peace deep inside us. It was only through those forays into the dark places that I could find that path to true joy in my life.)
* This is part of an ongoing series of posts detailing what happened on a spiritual pilgrimage that I took in 2002. To start from the beginning, go to July 2, 2013. To see the entire spiritual journey as it gets published, click on the category “You Want Me To Do WHAT?!!?” to see all of the posts.